Chapter VI interlude: Sleepwalk the Hourglass
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The trouble with doing this live is, well, if I get blocked nothing gets posted and the short memory of the internet buries this little experiment of mine. Should I have written this on my own and shown no one until it was done? Probably. Am I plowing ahead anyway? Yup. Will it get any better? Absolutely not.
So yeah, hi there! I got terribly blocked for awhile because the last chapter wasn't satisfactory to me and it had some problems. I was torn between taking it down, fixing it, and re-uploading it or if I should just keep everything going and fix it later (ahahaha "later"). So, here we are.
What was so wrong with the last chapter, Meghan? Not that I have standards, but it wasn't really up to them. I should have called "cut" after Father Lazarus got to be a skeleton worshipping badass and saved the fight for the next chapter to let them both breathe. Plus, the fight was kind of unimpressive. I'm currently trying to get better at writing action scenes so get ready for more mediocre bullshit.
While I knock the rust off, here is a little interlude to take us into the next part of our story. We're getting some new faces, some new places, and lots more chaos. How much of that can we fit into Leon's seven days until humanity? Guess we'll see!
I hope you stick around. I understand if you don't. Trust me. But I promise things are going to get really good.
Chapter VI interlude:
Sleepwalk the Hourglass
She woke up in the middle of the night, the portents still sharp in her mind. She could smell the blood, the gunpowder, and the ethereal stink of corrupted magic. With a groan she untangled herself from the warm blankets and the warmer body that had curled around her in the night. A word, barely a whisper, made the candle on the bedside table wink to life. She wrapped herself in her robe, tossing her heavy braid of hair over her shoulder, and sat at her vanity.
The mirror had been covered with a lace shawl as it was every night. It kept the evil spirits out. Somehow she knew something worse was coming her way but she had to be sure. She cleared the delicate table top, gently pushing back bottles of perfume and lip stain and the other tools of her trade. With a clear surface, she reached into one of the drawers and lifted the false bottom. Here she kept the more clandestine tools of her other trade.
The tarot cards were wrapped in a scarf that had once belonged to her grandmother, her presence one of warmth and safety. She laid it on the vanity and began to shuffle the cards, emptying her mind of everything except the problem at hand. The violence her dream had shown her and what it might have meant weighed heavily as she dealt the cards face down.
She turned the first card over and winced.
She turned the second card over and scowled.
She turned the third card over and swore.
The cards refused to change no matter how many times she reshuffled them. She gathered the three offending cards, shoved them under her pillow, and dealt them again, annoyed but unsurprised to see those very same cards staring up at her again.
There was nothing for it. The signs were clear, as unpleasant as they were. She knew she’d get the same answer in any other method she tried. The stars had turned against her, her fair winds turned foul, and something wicked this way came. At least there was time to prepare, to gather supplies and shore up the wards. They’d need all the help they could get.
A soft noise from the bed behind her made her turn, the shifting of blankets and the confused sigh only the deepest part of the night could elicit.
“Madam?” their voice was thick with sleep but awake enough to be concerned that something was amiss.
“Go back to sleep, darling. You need your rest. We’re going to have company tomorrow.”
She turned back to her cards, picking up Death and twirling it in her hand. “Yes, my love. That bastard Jack Stryker is coming to town."